National Signing Day Roundup

With the dust having settled from National Signing Day, SchoolSports.com looks at this year's winners and losers as well as which recruits to look for on the field this fall.

WINNERS

Tennessee
The Vols did a tremendous job this year, picking up an incredible 10 recruits who are rated in the SchoolSports.com National Top 100. Leading the way is Antioch (Antioch, Tenn.) running back LaMarcus Coker, who is rated the No. 21 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com.

USC
I know, it's shocking having the Trojans as a winner on National Signing Day. All the national champs did this year was pick up Top 20 recruits such as Mission Viejo (Mission Viejo, Calif.) quarterback Mark Sanchez, Goodpasture Christian (Madison, Tenn.) wide receiver Patrick Turner and Lakewood (Lakewood, Calif.) linebacker Luthur Brown.

Nebraska
Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan has the Huskers headed in the right direction with this year's class, which includes three Top 100 recruits. North Hollywood (North Hollywood, Calif.) running back Marlon Lucky is Callahan's biggest catch.

Iowa
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz raided Illinois for this year's impressive class, including Top 100 recruits such as Barrington (Barrington, Ill.) offensive lineman Dan Doering, Warrenville South (Wheaton, Ill.) offensive lineman Dace Richardson and Warrenville South (Wheaton, Ill.) tight end Anthony Moeaki.

Florida State
As always, the Seminoles made a late push this year, signing Top 100 recruits such as Lincoln (Tallahassee, Fla.) wide receiver Fred Rouse and Pahokee (Pahokee, Fla.) running back Antone Smith. Rouse, who was also considering Alabama, is rated the No. 2 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com.

Penn State
Penn State was one of the worst teams in the Big Ten last year, but that didn't stop the Nittany Lions from landing the nation's top recruit in Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.) athlete Derrick Williams and the nation's top defensive back and No. 8 overall recruit in Gateway's (Monroeville, Pa.) Justin King.


LOSERS

Texas
While the Longhorns did sign Top 100 recruits such as Shoemaker (Killeen, Texas) defensive lineman Roy Miller, losing East St. John (Reserve, La.) quarterback Ryan Perrilloux to LSU and Alief Taylor (Houston, Texas) tight end Martellus Bennett to Texas A&M hurts.

Illinois
In all fairness to new head coach Ron Zook, he really didn't have any time to work his recruiting magic. Still, the Fighting Illini lost most of Illinois' top recruits to Big Ten rivals. Illinois can hang its hat on signing Niles West (Skokie, Ill.) running back Rashard Mendenhall, who is rated the No. 7 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com.


IMPACT RECRUITS

Jason Gwaltney
North Babylon (North Babylon, N.Y.)
Running back, 6-1, 220
Committed to West Virginia -- The Mountaineers found the perfect replacement for Kay-Jay Harris in Gwaltney, a battering ram of a back who resembles New England Patriots star running back Corey Dillon. Gwaltney is rated the No. 50 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com.

Jonathan Stewart
Timberline (Lacey, Wash.)
Running back, 5-10.5, 215
Committed to Oregon -- When you gain a state-record 7,757 rushing yards during your high school career, you've got to be doing something right. Stewart, who is rated the No. 6 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com, brings a blend of power, speed and balance to the table. Just thought we should warn Oregon's opponents next season.

Rashard Mendenhall
Niles West (Skokie, Ill.)
Running back, 5-11, 198
Committed to Illinois -- Mendenhall will most certainly compete for the starting job his freshman year. Illinois fans will like what they see from the 5-foot-11, 198-pounder, who ran for 1,226 yards and 13 touchdowns and caught 30 passes for 524 yards and six scores this past fall. Mendenhall is rated the No. 7 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com.

Derrick Williams
Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, Md.)
Athlete, 6-1, 194
Committed to Penn State -- Knock Joe Paterno all you want, but picking up the nation's top recruit in Williams was a coup. Williams will most likely start at wide receiver this fall for the Nittany Lions and will bring explosiveness to Penn State's anemic offense.

Ryan Perrilloux
East St. John (Reserve, La.)
Quarterback, 6-4, 220
Committed to LSU -- Perrilloux spurned Texas for LSU and Tigers fans and new head coach Les Miles couldn't be happier. All Perrilloux did this season was pass for 3,546 yards and 30 touchdowns and rush for 1,460 yards and 37 touchdowns. He's rated the No. 1 quarterback and No. 5 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com. He'll compete with JaMarcus Russell and Matt Flynn for the starting job in the fall.

Marlon Lucky
North Hollywood (North Hollywood, Calif.)
Running back, 5-11, 200
Committed to Nebraska -- Bill Callahan landed himself a playmaker in the highest sense in Lucky, who scored 47 total touchdowns his senior season. Lucky is rated the No. 41 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com.


NOTES

Florida State closed strong last night by signing Harriton (Rosemont, Pa.) defensive lineman Callahan Bright and Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.) offensive lineman Matt Hardrick. Bright is rated the No. 20 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com, while Hardrick is rated the No. 76 recruit. …

Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, Calif.) wide receiver DeSean Jackson signed with California last night over USC. Jackson is rated the No. 49 overall recruit in the Class of 2005 by SchoolSports.com. He caught 58 passes for 1,075 yards and 15 touchdowns this past fall while leading Long Beach Poly to the CIF Division I Southern Section title. …

Miami Carol City (Miami, Fla.) defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois is the only recruit in the SchoolSports.com Top 100 who has not yet signed. He'll likely decide between LSU and South Florida over the next couple of days.

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